Gateway to the Middle east
Lebanon is the most diverse country in the Middle East. Throughout history, both ancient and modern, Lebanon has been a refuge for social, racial, and religious minorities. It continues to serve as the middle eastern melting pot of cultures and religions. Unlike other Arab countries, Lebanon’s civil system is based on a Christian foundation, even though the majority population is Muslim. As a result of these conditions, Lebanon offers an openness and freedom that doesn’t exist in any other Arab country. Evangelism and preaching the gospel is a legally protected right, although heavily resisted and discouraged by both social and religious communities.
- My ministry in Lebanon first started in April 2009, after spending nearly a year and a half in Jordan. I came to Lebanon in cooperation with brother Abdou Issa, a native independent Baptist missionary. Brother Issa pastors a small church outside of Beirut.
- Upon arrival to Lebanon I teamed up with two men from brother Issa’s church to start an evangelistic campaign in the biblical city of Tyre, with the hope of starting a church plant. After six months of visits and evangelism trips one of the men decided to move his family to Tyre and create a continual presence of the gospel in Tyre. There is now a strong church planting project in Tyre, and the Lord has blessed with the salvation of souls and the maturity of believers
- There was also a need for evangelism and discipleship in and around Beirut.I began doing street evangelism, home visits, and home bible studies with families and individuals in the great Beirut area. The ministry of home visitation, is the most effective and important way to reach people for Christ, especially because the culture in Lebanon puts great value on personal relationships.
- In order to reach out to more people I decided to start a mass evangelism campaign through street distribution of literature (New Testaments, DVDs, and tracts). However, after being forcefully removed from a number of villages a new strategy was developed. We now do mass distribution under the guise of simple humanitarian aid. We perform reading glass clinics, medical visits, and cooperation with clinics in order to freely give out and share the gospel of Jesus Christ. We also perform a number of camps throughout the year, both in Beirut and Tyre, to reach out to youth.
- When I first arrived in Lebanon I was introduced to a children’s shelter home called Home of Hope. It serves as a refuge for abused, neglected, orphaned, and abandoned children. I have volunteered at the institution for nearly three years, and recently had the opportunity to act as a temporary director. The institution now has daily chapel, prayer, and teaching of the Word of God. Three teenage boys have come to Christ through the ministry at Home of Hope, and it is my prayer that more and more children will come to the saving knowledge of our Savior, and that they will continue to grow in grace and knowledge of Him.
- About a year ago I met a man who is from a Druze background. The Druze are a mystic Islamic cult started over 1,000 years ago. Through this man I was able to meet and share the gospel with many other Druze people. A small number of them have accepted Christ and are being discipled. The Druze live mostly in mountain villages and are somewhat isolationists. However, God has opened the door to reach into this previously unreached people group. I pray that this door will continue to stay open.
Vision for the Future
ESTABLISHED CHURCHES IN LEBANON
It is my hope and prayer that two small Independent Baptist mission works in Lebanon will continue to grow into strong,biblical,mission-minded churches.I also pray and expect that God will continue to open doors so that new churches can be planted in other areas of Lebanon.On my heart is especially is the southern area of Lebanon where Islam dominates the heart of people.In order to do this,Arab leaders need to be discipled , trained and sent out to reach their own people.
Although Lebanon is a small country with a relatively small population,it acts as an access key to all the surrounding countries.Nearly one million Syrians,half a million Palestinians,and a mix of other Arab nationalities live in Lebanon.These otherwise closed countries can be reached through the nationals living inside Lebanon.Many of the Druze area of Syrian nationality, and a work amongst the Druze in Lebanon will eventually affect Syria.Also Jordan and Egypt are in close proximity to Lebanon, and I have made numerous tripsto test the soil in those countries.The need for the gospel is great in these countries as there are no independent Baptist churches.With the drastic changes in the Middle Eastern political situation,we must pray that the door for the gospel will be opened more and more,and the freedom to evangelize be established.
THE NEGLECTED AND IGNORED
There are hundreds of thousands of souls across Lebanon and the surrounding countries who have no place in society: Gypsies,Kurds,Armenian,Turkmen, and others.Also there are the abused and discarded children such as those in Home of Hope,many who are from the above mentioned backgrounds.These groups can only be reached by their own people,and through ministries like that of the shelter home through which doors are being opened to reach those who have never heard.
Missionary Noah George
Plack Road Baptist Church
1997 West Athena
North Pole, Alaska 99705
907 488 6697